In what will be a disappointment to some, British Airways will be moving some of the 747 fleet away from Cairo and Tel Aviv and switch them for Airbus A321’s.
But thankfully, not A321’s configured in an EuroBusiness style.
Instead, these routes will have the ex British Midland International Airbus A321’s, with a reconfigured Club World Layout and an Economy Section. In terms of numbers, there will be 23 Club World seats, and 131 World Traveller Seats.
Or as BMI flyers will know these seats better – those things that have been sitting in a hanger at EMA in limbo.
The Club World Seats themselves are the ones used on Swiss and Finnair.
Seating configuration will be something new. To give a “proper” business class feel, they will be in a staggered in the cabin in 1-2 and 2-1 configuration (1 on the left, 2 on the right, the next row is 2 on the left, 1 on the right, etc). The cabin itself will have new carpets, curtains and lighting installed too.
The configuration hasn’t been a secret – it’s been talked about on the BMI Diamond Club Forum for some time. Whilst BA have released a seat plan on Business Traveller, it requires a microscope to read.
So here’s one that you don’t need a microscope for:
The actual seat spacing and configurations look good:
- Business class: 23 Thompson Aero Seating 78″” lie-flat beds with 45″ seat pitch with mains and USB Power
- Economy Class seat: 131 Geven “Piuma” economy seats with 31″ pitch with USB Power
- Brand new IFE to be installed to all seats using the Thales i5000 AVOD package,
Before flying on the British Airways routes, if you have BMI flight booked, keep an eye open for A321’s. The first unit should be out of the shop and flying soon, with others going for conversion as time goes on.
Whilst some flyers will morn the loss of a wide-bodied plane on these routes (and thus offering four class service, including BA First and World Traveller Plus), this can be seen as a move by British Airways to redeploy the aircraft where they’re needed and not sitting on shorter haul flights.
There is also the angle of yield per seat that comes into play, and British Airways is thinking it can get the a better yield per seat with an A321 compared to a B747.
All interesting, and for Cairo – the game changes from January 2013…